Since their early beginnings, they have built up their total number of satellites in geosynchronous orbit to seven, which is how they are able to offer the high quality of reception and reliability that they do. Since its early days, satellite TV service providers have benefited from several technological advancements and one that has made a big impact on the industry is digital compression technology.Prior to the advent of digital compression technology, each satellite based transponder was only capable of processing one channel resulting in only 25-31 channels being trans ponded per satellite. This gave cable companies an obvious advantage over satellite companies with regards to the number of channels that could be provided but all that changed in 1993. It was late in that year that the first DBS class commercial satellite was launched and it would change the way that people watch TV around the globe. This new class of satellite contained on board 16 radially polarized DBS Ku band transponders, with each unit broadcasting at 120 watts per transponder. In layman's terms that means that a heck of a lot more digital channels could then be sent out simultaneously. This new quantum leap in technology meant that satellite TV programming could now be brought to millions of homes across North America at a cost that people could well afford. Prior to then, satellite TV programming was something only a small segment of the total population was interested in as it was rather costly and only carried a limited number of channels featuring obscure topics.In 1994 DirecTV introduced a new type of satellite TV service that used a smaller 18 inch dish that received a far wider choice in family oriented programming setting the stage for what satellite TV programming is today. At that time in 1994, customers were required to purchase the satellite system that they used to receive their programming with but even then they were a popular selling item as people began switching to the new technology in TV programming by the thousands. One of the things that further fueled the migration from cable to satellite TV service was the launch of a second satellite by DirecTV. This new state of the art satellite allowed DirecTV to up their total channel number to over 150, which was a new record as cable service providers of the time were only offering up to 35 channels at the most. Since those early days DirecTV has not looked back and has continued to set new standards in broadcasting by offering high definition
, multicultural and interactive programming while at the same time offering the option of DVD to its family of viewers.